As we move into March, New Years Resolutions are starting to wear off and perhaps the extra pounds are starting to appear again. Many people hit the gym hard in January, determined to be an Olympic athlete in two weeks, but reality soon kicks in – aches and pains, injuries etc and numbers dwindle again by February.
As with most things, little and often is the best way to go with exercise, building up fitness levels gradually. The following advice is taken from the BBC’s health section:
According to the government, only 37 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women take enough exercise to get any benefit from it. To avoid obesity, heart disease and other life-limiting conditions, the chief medical officer (the government’s top doctor) recommends the following:
- Adults should do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week.
- You don’t have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be made up of three ten-minute bursts of activity spread through the day, if you prefer – it’s the total that matters.
- The activity can be a ‘lifestyle activity’ (in other words, walking to the shops or taking the dog out) or structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these. But it does need to be of at least moderate intensity, again measured by it making you slightly breathless or a little warm.
- People who are at specific risk from obesity, or who need to manage their weight because of a medical condition, need 45-60 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. For example, if you have diabetes, it will be much better controlled if you exercise like this.
- For bone health, activities that produce high physical stresses on the bones are necessary.
Often, doing something you enjoy will make it easier to keep it up, so for example if you enjoy walking, it’s not too hard to get out and about, but for people who don’t like the outdoors as much, perhaps investing in a cycling machine and using it whilst watching TV would be better.
Team activities are also good, you gain new friends and it doesn’t make it feel quite so much like exercise if you are having a laugh. Why not go out and try something new – hockey, netball, bowls, martial arts, whatever takes your fancy.
By building up activity levels now, by summer it qon’t be quite so daunting to put on those shorts and get down to the beach!
What are you doing to keep fit this summer? Tell us in the comments section below.